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All interviews are presented to stimulate thought and assist Christian families in homeschooling their children. Interviews may or may not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the management of

Encouragement from a Single Homeschooling Parent

by Linda Bothel

April 1998

You have heard the stories of the great homeschooled children who have gone to the finest colleges, and won big scholarships. And who are they; they are the ones whose parents have masters degrees, the child who is a prodigy, or has the mom who gets the kids up at 6 am and keeps them at their desks till dusk. So you wonder, what does this have to do with me? I have trouble getting them out of bed. We sit down to do math and the day is beautiful, so we drop everything for a walk in the park. You say to yourself, God, what am I doing? I can't even get them through their times tables, let alone high school. But wait, not necessarily.

Let me tell you my story. In August of 1993, I felt God told me to homeschool my child. In my usual fashion I said, You've got to be kidding! I am a single mother, I have some (and we use the term loosely) college, my child is doing fine in school, and her father will never consent. God had other plans, and in December of 1993, we were homeschooling.

The first year was rough. I had to work, Michelle would either go with me, or stay at home with her sister-in-law. I had no idea what I was doing. A long time was spent in fights and frustrations. When finally, I stopped one day and said, Wait a minute, this wasn't my idea in the first place, it was God's. If He wanted Michelle to be ignorant and dig ditches for the rest of her life, then, so be it. I relaxed. Michelle relaxed. We did some studies. We did some walks in the park. And a strange thing happened, Michelle discovered she liked to learn. We had fun. Time went by, and soon it was what we laughingly (because we were so laid back) call the beginning of her senior year. Her school friends were signing up for SAT test, so we decided. Why not? If she fails she can always retake it later. Finally the day arrived, the scores had come back. We tore through the envelope. We couldn't believe our eyes. For days afterward, Michelle watched the mail for a letter saying, We're sorry, we got your scores mixed up with some really smart kid. As no letter came, it became apparent that God's hand was on us again. We accepted that she had placed nationally in the top 14% in math, and top 11% in verbal. Wow! "Where are you taking us now, Lord? College?" So we considered the local junior college, which was affordable for a single mom. Seemed a shame though, because we lived just a few blocks from one of the finest universities. They were completely out of reach, both financially and by their very tough acceptance policy. But with God, all things are possible, so, maybe... We applied, and thought no more about it. A month later, the letter came. Accepted! Nice, but not enough. Two weeks later, the second letter came, a four year scholarship with an affordable balance due. If God is for us, who can be against us.

We write you this story as an encouragement. So, when the floor is sticky, and the studies never seem to get done, and the birds are calling, and you're not sure what you are doing, or how you ever got into this in the first place, just remember, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

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